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DISCERNING TOURS OF NOTE

Toluca

We know that you are tired of the standard run of the mill Adventures and tours in the Banderas Bay so this year we really expanded our horizons and found Superior Tours Vallarta based in Puerto Vallarta that fortunately for us had everything we were looking for … and a Little bit more.

Astrid Van Dam and her company Superior Tours Vallarta have been awarded the coveted Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for the last four years in a row and we are sure that this year will be no exception.

While they offer many fun tours in addition to those shown here, we have selected these tours because Superior Tours Vallarta has agreed to include Round trip transportation from the Galvan Real Estate office on all tours to Guadalajara.

To offer the opportunity to explore new places and to enjoy new experiences here in Mexico, we are pleased to present you with the following exciting tours.

Day Tours –

San Sebastian del OesteSan Sebastian del Oeste Tour – 7 hours Cost $80.00 usd

On this tour, we will head to San Sebastian del Oeste where you will literally step back in time. Once one of the most important mining towns from the 1600’s, San Sebastian is now a quiet mountain village, located 4800 feet above sea level and an hour and a half away from Puerto Vallarta.

Nominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and recently declared a Magical Village, San Sebastian is truly an unspoiled place to explore. Just over a century ago an estimated 30.000 people lived there. Today, there are only about 600 people remaining. The mines are long closed but the charm and beauty of the village is still there.

While visiting San Sebastian, we will explore the local coffee plantation, where you can see the whole process from the trees to the roasting of the beans and sample the organically grown coffee.

We will visit the museum of Doña Conchita and learn the history of San Sebastian. A stroll through the main plaza and a stop at the local church is also included in this tour.

Before we head back to Vallarta, we will visit the treasure of the area, the Hacienda Jalisco. This former silver hacienda is now operating as a bed and breakfast with a museum. It was a favorite hideaway for legendary director John Huston as well as his friends, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Included is an informative guided tour of the Hacienda.

XochimilcoThe following article is taken from http://www.sansebastianmexico.com
San Sebastian del Oeste, Rediscover Colonial Mexico
Tucked away in the hills of the Sierra Madre lies the historic town of San Sebastián del Oeste. Founded over 400 years ago as the mining capital of New Spain, this picturesque town is a living example of colonial México.

Just a short distance from the busy beaches of Puerto Vallarta, San Sebastián is nestled among the pines trees, 4600 feet up in the Sierra. An upcoming UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Sebastián is a secluded paradise that has been preserved through the centuries.
Come and discover for yourself what makes this magical town one of México’s finest.

A Brief History of San Sebastián

San SebastianWith the arrival of Francisco Cortes and his Spanish conquistadors, mining first began in the area in 1524. It eventually became so fruitful with gold, silver lead, and zinc, that the town of San Sebastián del Oeste was founded in 1605. The town would grow to be one of the principal mining centers for New Spain. Necessary for the smelting process of precious metals, salt was imported by mule from the small coastal town of Las Peñas, now known as Puerto Vallarta. The silver and gold would then be transported to Guadalajara, Mexico City, and eventually Veracruz, where it would be shipped out to Spain once a year.

The prosperity of the mines continued, and by 1785, there were over 30 mines. At one point, San Sebastián was even the provincial capital of Jalisco (now Guadalajara). The town became a city in 1812, and by 1830, it claimed more than 20,000 inhabitants.

San Sebastián, circa 1880

The growth and prosperity of San Sebastián would come to cease with the revolution of 1910, and by 1921, the last mine was finally abandoned. The town became dormant for decades and has only recently started to reawaken. Although there is one active mine in the area again, agriculture and stock breeding are now the principal activities, with tourism starting to make an impact. Although the present population of 600 is merely a shadow of the city San Sebastián once was, the town retains its colonial heritage in the well preserved buildings that are as much as 250 years old. Those that are lucky enough to visit San Sebastián del Oeste today are connected with a distant time. Come and wander its picturesque cobblestone streets and passageways, and discover for yourself the town that time forgot.

Lunch is included. The cost is $ 320.00 usd per person.

Mascota – Guachimontones – 10 hours – Cost $129.00 usd

PyramidsGuachimontones has only been excavated in the past ten years; it’s now an UNESCO World Heritage site. This Archaeological site is over 2,000 years old, and the architectural style is unique to the region, and in the world. The amazing and main characteristic that distinguishes the Pyramids of Guachimontones is its unusual architectural style, defined by ceremonial canters in the form of concentric circles. This is the largest and most complex site with this architecture. In the areas surrounding the Guachimontones- Teuchitlan there are also a great number of artifacts made of obsidian, a material that was utilized for the production of art pieces during the pre-Hispanic era. It is amply used in the production of tools during the period of the Guachimontones. More than 50,000 people may have lived in the area.

The cost is $129.00 usd per person

Expanded Overnight Tours –

MaizeFor the overnight tours all prices are in USD per person and based upon double occupancy.

Monarch Butterflies – Visit Rosario Sanctuary & Chinua, Toluca and Angangueo – This is a 4 day/3 night tour. The cost is $ 695.00 usd per person

Monarch Butterflies in Michoacan Tour

Until recently, the location of the Monarch Butterflies` breeding grounds remained a mystery. How an infant generation of Monarch butterflies finds it a new each year is still an enigma. Learn about their amazing migration and photograph the monarch butterfly in its natural habitat on this one of a kind Mexican expedition. Besides this unique experience, will will visit cities as Morelia and Guadalajara, plus the magic villages of Patzcuaro and Angangueo. This “Superior” Tour is not to be missed!

Day 1. Puerto Vallarta – Angangueo

In our comfortable vehicle with a/c, we will travel to Tlaquepaque where we will have lunch, and a bit of free time to do some shopping before we head to the Mountain Town Angangueo. Stroll around in this village in the late afternoon; , this is THE place to stay for an early butterfly expedition for the next day. Overnight with dinner at Plaza don Gabino in Angangueo*.

Day 2. El Rosario Sanctuary-Morelia

TalaquepaqueAfter breakfast at the hotel today we will venture for encounter with the monarchs. Usually the highest concentrations of monarchs are found at this Sanctuary. Monarchs are located at elevations of 9,000 to 11,000 ft above sea level. After a steep hike of approximately one mile we´ll finally find the millions of monarchs covering the tall oyamel fir trees, and as the sun warms their black and orange wings, the butterflies fill the air. Mexico’s sanctuaries are the only places in the world where you can actually hear butterflies’ wings beating. After this adventure, we will continue to one of Mexico`s most beautiful cities: Morelia. We will explore the city upon arrival with our walking tour.

Day 3 Morelia-Janitzio-Patzcuaro.

Today we travel to another “Magic Village”; Patzcuaro. We drive along a beautiful landscape in the highlands of Michoacan. Upon arrival we will make first a boat trip to the Island of Janitzio, where we will visit the statue of Josè Maria Morelos. This is the heart of the Tarascan indigenous people. After the boat trip we will make a walking tour through Patzcuaro with it`s beautiful plazas, churches and an amazing mural in the library. One night in Patzcuaro.

Day 4 Patzcuaro-Tzintzuntzan-Quiroja-Guadalajara

Still in the highlands of Michoacan, we visit the town of Tzintzuntzan. The most wonderful handicrafts can be found on the little market. Furthermore we visit the Archeological site just out of town. Then we continue to Quiroja, another unique village close to the Patzcuaro lake. In the late afternoon we continue to Guadalajara.

Day 5. Guadalajara – Puerto Vallarta

Mexio City ZocaloThis morning we spend with a walking tour through Guadalajara. Have you been to Guadalajara before? No worries, you can spend some time on your own before we head back to Puerto Vallarta.

RECOMMENDATIONS

• We will primarily be traveling in a mountainous, cool environment (yet close to the sun). Weather is typically windy and cool
• Temperatures will vary during the day, as well as depending upon the time of year in which your expedition takes place. For those expeditions departing from January to mid-February, be prepared with warm, windproof clothing to wear while in mountainous areas
• For those expeditions departing in late February and March, heavy clothing may not be necessary. As mornings can still be chilly, you will want to be prepared with layer able clothing that you can remove throughout the day as temperatures increase (i.e. T-shirt, fleece, etc.)
• This tour is mainly on high elevated areas; make sure you are in good conditions.

RECOMMENDED GEAR
• Lightweight, waterproof rain jacket
• Windproof fleece
• Lightweight, water-resistant hiking shoes or tennis
• Warm sleepwear , the hotels in Angangueo are unheated and can get very cold at night

DiningAbout the hotel: Plaza Don Gabino Hotel Angangueo Michoacan
Plaza Don Gabino Hotel is located in the tiny mountain village of Angangueo. Here, amenities are limited, but enormous charm and authenticity are the rule. This is a 7 rooms accommodations in the region and, even so, the hotel is not heated, and you must run the shower for a long time to get warm water. But extra blankets and a space heater are provided in each room and the remote charm adds to our trip. We have chosen this town (and the Plaza Don Gabino) for the unique ambiance, its involvement in Monarch preservation and its relative access to Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary.

Available tour dates – January 4th – 8th, February 1st – 5th, February 29th – March 5th

StreetThree Day Shopping and Sightseeing Tour to Guadalajara, Tequila, Tlaquepaque and Tonala – 3 days / 2 nights – Cost is $249.00 per person

Spend three days and two nights exploring the best shopping, dining and cultural areas of Guadalajara and the area. Round trip transportation is included from Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta or Bucerias. Lodging for the two nights, included in the price, is at the centrally located Hotel Cervantes. Daily American breakfast is also included, so no worries about where to go for breakfast.

The hotel is located in Downtown/Historic Guadalajara, just steps from many historic sites, restaurants, shops and plazas. All rooms have T.V., A/C, WiFi, telephone and the hotel has an outdoor swimming pool. Bring your own hairdryer.

We will depart Puerto Vallarta at 7:00 AM, Fridays, from our office in Plaza Romy at Ignacio L. Vallarta 228. (Emiliano Zapata/Southside). Other pick ups are: Vips restaurant (Next to Walmart), 07.15 am, Walmart Nuevo Vallarta at 07.40am and Oxxo Bucerias, next to the entrance of the Decameron hotel at 07.45.

See our youtube Guadalajara shopping tour video!

On our way to Guadalajara we will stop in the town of Tequila, Jalisco for a tour of the world famous Casa Herradura-Hacienda San Jose del Refugio for a 90 minute tour of the Hacienda, tequila factory and tasting area. The tequila tour admission is included in the package price. The Casa Herradura produces “El Jimador” Tequila among others and is one of the most famous brands in Mexico.

San Juan BautistaAfter the Tequila Tour we will swing into Tlaquepaque for some serious shopping at the coolest shops, boutiques, markets and art galleries for everything from decor, to home furnishing, leather goods, clothes or whatever else you fancy. Next stop is the hotel where we will check in and relax.

The rest of the night is free time for everyone, although there will be an optional group dinner (not included), your guide will tell you all about the different choices of restaurants. If you’d like to go off on your own, our guides will offer you advice on where to go and what to do for the evening. This is your time, so feel free to explore by yourself or hang out with the group.

Breakfast on Saturday morning is available starting at 7:00 AM when the restaurant opens. We will meet in the lobby for a walking tour (included but optional) of the sites in the Centro/Historical district and get you oriented with the area. We will visit the Cathedral, the Government building with Orozco murals, plazas, Mercado and more.

The tour is about 90 minutes, so you can use this time to keep walking with the map provided and explore the Hospicios de Cabanas (with the amazing murals by Jose Clemente Orozco) and the Mercado San Juan de Dios, the largest market in Latin America.

Supeior ToursIncluded in the tour is an afternoon visit to the modern Shopping Mall “Andares”, where you will find hundreds of shops, many restaurants, a movie theatre and a casino. This is where the “jetset” of Guadalajara goes to go out at night, it´s a great place for people watching!

MascotaSunday morning, we rise and shine. Breakfast is at 7:00 AM and we will depart at 8.00 AM to go to Tonala, arriving around 8:30 AM for the fabulous Sunday shopping markets. Here is where you will find a plethora of things from home furnishings, art, décor, glassware and everything in between at great prices, usually around 1/3 to 1/2 of the prices of the same items in Vallarta.

Once everyone has found all the treasures they can find, we will re-group at our meeting point and depart around 11:30 AM. We will stop for lunch along the way (Lunch not included in price). We will arrive in Vallarta around 6:00 -7:00 PM and needless to say, we will drop off everyone at their original pick-up point. End of our services.

Your choice of water or soft drink included during the whole tour and for the first day an optional lunch box is available for 100 Pesos, please reserve in advance.

Available tour dates – January 8th – 10th, January 22nd – 24th, February 5th – February 7th, February 19th – 21st, March 4th – 6th and March 18th – 20th.

Three Day Sightseeing Tour to Tequila, Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque, Guachimontones, and the Chapala Area (Ajijic and Chapala)

Spend 3 days/2 nights and see all highlights of both Guadalajara, as well as the Chapala Area and Tequila! Let us show you all highlights of the City and the surroundings! We will visit Tequila, Tlaquepaque, Guadalalajara, the Chapala Area, and Guachimontones at a price that nobody can beat!

Day 1: Vallarta -Tequila-Tlaquepaque-Guadalajara.

BeachWe leave early from Puerto Vallarta, and on our way we make a stop in the town of Tequila. Tequila, considered as one of the Magic Villages of Mexico, has a wonderful architecture. We will make a walk through town. After this, we will head to Tlaquepaque, where you will make a small walking tour with our guide. Have lunch while you enjoy Mariachi´s or shop at the many art galeries here!

See our youtube Guadalajara shopping tour video!

At night you are free to do your things on your own, or, if you prefer, you can join us for a group dinner (not included but very reasonable priced). We stay at Hotel Cervantes. All rooms have T.V., A/C, WiFi, telephone and the hotel has an outdoor swimming pool.

Day 2: Downtown Guadalajara, Chapala & Ajijic

After breakfast in the morning we will have a guided walking tour though the Historic District of Guadalajara. We will show you all highlights; the Government building with the murals of Jose Clemente Orozco, the Cathedral, the plaza Tapatia, the San Juan de Dios market and everything in between. In the late morning/early afternoon we head one hour South; to Lake Chapala. It´s the biggest lake of Mexico. Many people from the US and Canada spend the winters there; the climate is really nice, the people very friendly, and houses are better priced than for example Vallarta. During this day we will visit the lake with the villages Ajijc and Chapala. The area has attracted many artists lately, and is famous for the many art galleries. A must when visiting the State of Jalisco! In the late afternoon we will head back to Guadalajara for our second night. In case you are interested to explore other areas on your own instead of joining us to Chapala, you are more than welcome to do so. Visit the amazing Guadalajara zoo, the City of Zapopan or explore one of the many shopping areas of the City. We will provide you maps. In the late afternoon you have more time to explore the Historic District of Guadalajara on you own.

MaizeDay 3: Guachimontones-Tequila-Vallarta

Breakfast is at 7:30 AM and we will depart at 8.30 AM to go to Guachimontones, arriving around 9.15. This is one of the most important Archeological Sites of Jalisco State, famous for the round pyramids of 13 steps each. Our guide will show you these pyramids, as well as the “ball court” and the little museum. We will have a stop on the way for lunch (lunch not included) . We will arrive in Vallarta around 6:00 -7:00 PM. We will drop off everyone at their original pick-up point.

The cost is $249.00 per person.

Available tour dates January 29th -31st, February 12th – 14th, February 26th – 28th, March 11th – 13th & March 25th – 27th-

Optional for all overnight tours:

You can reserve a Box Lunch to enjoy on the way to Guadalajara for just 100.00 pesos. The lunch box contains: Manchego Cheese/Turkey Sandwich, a homemade chocolate chip cookie, a bag of chips and a banana.

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